FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Fort Wayne’s NBC) — City officials today announced a new program they say is aimed to provide ID cards to marginalized communities who are without government-issued identification.
Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry and Catholic Charities announced the partnership on Thursday to establish the Fort Wayne Community Identification Card program.
Implemented through a mayoral executive order signed by Henry, officials say the program is a “proactive effort to recognize all citizens in our community and demonstrate respect, value, diversity, and inclusion.”
Officials say they hope the cards will help those who face challenges obtaining other forms of photo ID that help with tasks like accessing City services, where identification is required.
The order says the City Administration and all of its Departments, Commissions, agencies, and personnel shall accept a Fort Wayne Community ID Card in lieu of government-issued identification unless:
- Such acceptance is prohibited by federal or state law; or
- Additional documentation is required due to federal or state requirements for the program or purpose for which the ID is presented to the City; or
- The City Department would be unable to comply with a condition imposed by a funding source, which would cause the City to lose funds from that source; or
- The City employee or Department has reasonable grounds to determine that the Card is counterfeit, altered, improperly issued, or that the individual presenting the Card is not the individual to whom the Card was issued.
- The Fort Wayne Community ID Card may not be used for voting or driving.
The policy is also aimed to enhance public safety, as residents may use the ID cards as a valid form of identification during all interactions with City public safety officers and to report crimes.
Officials say the cities of South Bend, Goshen, Elkhart, and Plymouth have similar programs and found that community partners such as schools and hospitals have accepted the identification cards.
Catholic Charities will serve as the fiscal agent and issuer of the cards, a release sent to media says.
A card for adults ages 18-64 is $25, youth 17 and younger is $20, and seniors 65 and over is $20.
“Catholic Charities is proud to work with the City of Fort Wayne to create the first Fort Wayne Community Identification Card program,” Catholic Charities Interim CEO Dan Florin said. “We believe by issuing identification cards, our city and all of its citizens will benefit in areas of the economy, culture and safety.”
Those interested in getting a card should make an appointment at the Catholic Charities office, at 915 S. Clinton St., by calling (260)-422-5625.